Pro-Life Speech 
Senator Steve King

Steve King delivered this speech on the floor of the Iowa Senate on January 22, 2001, the 28th anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

“Madam President, Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, Iowans, I rise before you today as a servant to Iowans and to my country. I am intensely aware of the recent events in Washington, D.C., which inaugurated the 43rd President of these United States. I am mindful of the historical changes in our Chief Executive Office and of the philosophical “trickle down” of values to the chambers of state and local governments and to the people. The historic and peaceful transfer of power came just 5 days after we celebrated the life, labors, and sacrifice of the great leader, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Reverend King was a successor in the struggle for freedom and justice for the powerless to another great American leader, the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, whose blood flows in my veins. Each of us feels a sense of kinship with the legacy of these two great men. Each of us understands the historical changes that were brought about by the courageous leadership and sacrifices of these two great men. Each of us bear the burden of duty to our fellow Iowans to carry on the work of Lincoln and King, who were martyred in the cause of justice for the powerless.

Senators, today I call upon your sense of duty, conscience, and justice to remember our obligation to carry on the legacy of Lincoln and King and to pause and remember that today we have a very solemn occasion to commemorate. Today is the 22nd day of January and the 28th anniversary of the most infamous United States Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott. 

You may remember the 1857 Dred Scott decision that ruled that no black could claim United States citizenship and that slavery could not be prohibited in the territories by Congress. 

That decision was decided by a vote of 7-2 as was the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which established a pregnant female’s right to terminate the life of her unborn child and established that neither Congress nor the states could prohibit abortion.

Roe v. Wade is 28 years old today. Are we any closer to justice for the powerless? Why do we deny simple inarguable principles? Our Declaration of Independence, the very foundation of our beliefs, which are the spirit of this great nation, clearly states, "...we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights and that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, these rights are not granted by the government and certainly not by the courts to the people. These rights are unalienable. They are given to us by God as he passed the lamp of liberty to our Founders who, in turn, have passed it on to us, each citizen of this great nation. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not the other way around. 

Each right is dependent upon the previous right. Life is paramount. All human life is sacred in all of its forms. No person’s liberty can morally be gained at the expense of another’s life, just as no one’s pursuit of happiness can be at the expense of anyone’s liberty or life. Such a simple concept and so little understood. First life, then liberty, and then the pursuit of happiness.

"Abortion should be both safe and rare." Few of us would disagree with that common statement from the pro-choice side of the discussion. Yet the actions of pro-choice leadership portray the opposite. Their actions would lead one to believe that pro-choice leaders want abortion to be both safe and so common as to have no moral implications whatsoever as if we were dealing with a piece of tissue rather that an innocent human being.

"More Iowans, younger Iowans, and better paid Iowans." Is there anyone who doesn’t recognize that phrase? I heartily endorse the governor’s words and ask that he follow with positive action. 

Last year Governor Vilsack vetoed the “Woman’s Right to Know” bill, which would have saved as many as 600 very young Iowans. These children were aborted mostly because they were inconvenient but not because they were unwanted or unplanned.

"Every child should be both planned and wanted." Do you recognize those words? They are a new criterion for the next generation’s “pro-choice” right to life. The message is, if you aren’t planned, you aren’t wanted and if you are brought into the world without the prequalifications and good fortune of being planned and wanted, you had no right to be born. A very selective process, ladies and gentlemen. 

Most of us would not enjoy the gift of life if we had been required to meet that standard, the standard for the next generation. Fortunately, all innocent unborn children are both planned and wanted. It has been long held and never logically refuted that every child is planned by God. 

Every child is wanted by competing couples that are not blessed with their own natural born children. Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, there is a waiting list so long that Iowans routinely fly to China or Russia to get into a shorter line to adopt children. The demand for children is so great that seven Iowa hospitals have stopped issuing birth announcements in an effort to prevent the abduction of babies. 

About 2400 years ago, Hippocrates wrote the famous Hippocratic Oath for doctors. It states in part, "I will give no deadly medicines to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in a like manner, I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion." The sanctity of life ethic was embodied in the Oath taken by physicians. It has been dropped from use in medical schools only twice in modern history—today and DURING THE TWELVE YEARS OF THE THIRD REICH! With the exception of the Third Reich and Roe v. Wade, condemnation of abortion has been “an almost absolute value in history.”

And so today we focus our legislative energies on workforce development. We need something like 250,000 new Iowans in our workforce within the next several years. Almost every state is in the same condition. Our governor proposes that we recruit ex-patriot Iowans, retain our own children, recruit from other states, and become the Ellis Island of Midwestern immigration. I am concerned about the quality of immigrants that we might get if we suspend the rules, but for the most part, I don’t disagree with the approach.

I will add, though, one very effective and significant element. I call it the “Grow Your Own Plan." We need more babies in Iowa! Tax policies that discourage conception and court decisions and gubernatorial vetoes that deny life are anathema to our economic demands. If we are going to have "more Iowans, younger Iowans, and better paid Iowans," the very best plan is to get them born. Give them a chance at the right to life. If we had done so, as a nation for the past 28 years, there would have been more than enough young Iowans eager to become better paid Iowans, many of whom would have started their own families by now.

What price has our nation paid for Roe v. Wade? Most estimates fall in the area of 39 million babies. Thirty-nine million babies tossed onto the scales of justice, which weighs against the conscience and soul of this nation. Over 39 million….. Thirty-nine million little pairs of shoes. Thirty-nine million kids in our schools. Thirty-nine million bicycles. Thirty-nine million hugs and kisses goodnight, every night. Thirty-nine million who will never fall in love or have children of their own or reach for their dreams. Thirty-nine million innocent souls who will never realize what might have been. Thirty-nine million who were inconvenient at the time. How many Einsteins? How many Lincolns? How many Doctor Kings? Thirty-nine million of the most innocent and powerless have suffered this injustice. Thirty-nine million innocent souls weighing against the soul of a nation. Is liberty so sweet as to be purchased at the price of the soul of our nation? The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "A time comes when silence is betrayal."

By Senator Steve King


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